April 2020 REmarks

Almost all of us touch this at least once a week, and until a few weeks ago, we never gave it a second thought — the gas pump handle. Wear gloves or use hand sanitizer afterwards. 

So many aspects of our daily life have been upended in the last few weeks. To say this year will be challenging is an understatement, but we will navigate it to the best of our ability. Part of the navigation requires making decisions — decisions on when we can begin to return to normalcy. That may not be for a while and the path to getting there seems to change by the day. For now, our various committees and boards have arrived at process — one that is not perfect, but will work for the time being.

The basic idea is that we will plan to hold our events unless some other reason requires us to cancel them. With the current “shelter in place” order from the State of Illinois extending until April 7th (at the time if this writing), our events that were scheduled prior to that date have been cancelled. Events that have been “cancelled” will not be “uncancelled,” so our goal is to provide adequate notification of an event’s status without getting too far ahead of ourselves. The Board of Directors has settled on a procedure to make cancellation decisions 1 week prior to the event date. However, part of the decision making process will involve looking at how many have registered for the event. We really don’t want to cancel an event for a low entry count if there aren’t other reasons to do so. So it is our request that you continue to register for events as you would normally, perhaps even earlier than you typically would. We need your support to help us make these decisions. Additionally, we have agreed that payments for events will not collected/charged until the day of the event — flexibility is going to be important for us to have a successful season.

Bottom line: Until an event is marked “cancelled,” you can assume it will happen. Refer to the region website for official event status updates as well as the event listings on MotorsportReg. Once an event status has been updated on the website, notices will be posted on social media.

As so many of our interactions are now happening online or in the “virtual” world, so too are racing events. NASCAR has held several “virtual” races so far with some success. Some of our local members have started a Chicago Sim Racing League with races on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. If you’ve got the tech gear that will work with the software, you might want to check it out (note to self – get a set of pedals and a force feedback steering wheel).

See you at the track (maybe the virtual one too)!

Erik Vandermey
Regional Executive, Chicago Region SCCA